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Disable Device and Search History in Windows 10

As you may remember, Microsoft has updated Cortana and Search in Windows 10 version 1903 'May 2019 Update' and has given them individual flyouts and buttons in the taskbar. A server-side change adds new sections to the search pane. My device history and My search history are two features of Windows 10 Search that can improve your search experience by collecting extra data about your device usage, and searches your perform.

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Windows 10 Top Apps In Search

Cortana has got its own view, called "Conversation Canvas". This change is expected to improve user experience with the assistant by minimizing content obstruction. It will be used to manage your Cortana Notebook, reminders, and connected devices which support Cortana.

Separated Cortana UI

Taskbar Icons Search Cortana Split

The Search feature is now dedicated for searching the web and local files and documents, installed apps. It is worth mentioning that Microsoft has added Enhanced Mode to Search Indexer to make Windows Search faster and more accurate.

Note: A refined look for Search in Windows 10 features rounder corners

My device history is a feature that allows Windows Search to improve on-device searches by using collected information about app, settings, and other history from all devices that you are using with the current Microsoft Account.

My search history is another feature that allows Windows Search to improve on-device searches. It uses the collected search history from all devices that you are using with the current Microsoft Account.

If you are not happy with these features, here is how to disable them.

To disable My device history in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Search > Permissions & History.
  3. On the right, turn off the option My device history.Windows 10 Disable My Device History
  4. You can re-enable the option at any moment later.

You are done.

Similarly, you can enable or disable My search history in Windows 10.

To disable My search history in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Search > Permissions & History.
  3. On the right, turn off the option My search history.Windows 10 Disable My Search History
  4. You can re-enable the option at any moment later.

You are done.

Tip: Starting in Windows 10 build 18267, you can enable a new option for the search indexing, called 'Enhanced Mode'.

If the Search Indexing feature is disabled, search results will always be up to date, because the OS won't use the search index database. However, the search will take more time and will be slow. To overcome this issue, Microsoft has created a new type of the Search Index. When the Enhanced Mode is enabled, it creates a persistent file database for all files and folders stored on your drive. This enables Windows to search all your folders and drives, instead of limiting search to your documents, pictures, videos, and desktop by default. See Turn On or Off Enhanced Mode for Search Indexer in Windows 10.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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